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Controversial Study to Test Link Between Insomnia and Sleep Apnea
Date:2/9/2009

Measuring Prevalence of Sleep Apnea Among Insomnia Patients

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., Feb. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- The Sleep and Human Health Institute (SHHI) was awarded a grant to study one of the most controversial aspects of Chronic Insomnia. Conventional wisdom connects insomnia to psychological factors -- stress, racing thoughts, and worries -- and is usually treated with sleeping pills or talk therapy. Pitted against the CW is the provocative theory that a large percentage of Chronic Insomniacs suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), a physical breathing problem that might cause unwanted or unexpected sleeplessness.

Several leading sleep researchers have espoused this theory for the last decade; and Philips Respironics, a world leader in the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea, has awarded a $50,000 grant to co-sponsor the study in Albuquerque, NM to measure the occurrence of OSA in Chronic Insomnia patients.

"The Sleep and Human Health Institute has a history of groundbreaking work, and this study will be an important advancement in understanding the relationship between Insomnia and Sleep Apnea," said David P. White, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Philips Respironics. "We know there are many skeptics who insist Chronic Insomnia is largely a psychological problem, but recent studies on certain patients have already shown that continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy or upper airway surgery significantly decreases insomnia."

Unlike other studies that investigated patients at sleep centers, the new research will examine randomly selected patients seeking care at their primary care clinics. This approach provides data much closer to what goes on in the general population compared to sleep center cohorts.

"This opportunity will clarify whether Sleep Apnea is a common problem often overlooked in Chronic Insomnia patients," declared Dr. Barry Krakow, principal investigator and medical director of the Sleep & Human Health Institute. "We'll be using the latest respiratory technology to more accurately measure breathing, and we hypothesize that more than half of these Chronic Insomnia patients will suffer from previously undiagnosed Sleep Apnea." Dr. Krakow is also medical director of Maimonides Sleep Arts and Sciences, a co-sponsor of the research.


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SOURCE Sleep and Human Health Institute
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